I have been working on pandemic outbreaks for 15 years.

There is a misunderstanding of the difference between the response in much of the West, versus successful countries (including New Zealand and Australia).


1.Reactive versus proactive and goal oriented.


2.Mitigation (slowing transmission) versus elimination (stopping transmission)

3.Gradually responding to increasing levels of infection by imposing greater restrictions which enables the infection rate to grow (red zone strategy), …

versus starting with high restrictions to arrest transmission and relaxing restrictions only when the number of new cases is so low that contact tracing or localized short term action can stop community transmission (green zone strategy, including localized "fire fighting").

4.Trying to keep economic activity and travel as open as possible but perpetuating the economic harm and imposing yoyo restrictions, versus making an initial sacrifice of economic activity and travel in order to benefit from the rapid restoration of normal economic activity.

5.Focusing attention on few individuals resistant to social action because of shortsightedness or selfishness, versus recognizing the vast majority do the right thing if given clear guidance and support, which is what matters for success, as elimination is a robust strategy.

6.Incorrectly thinking that this is a steady state situation where balance between counter forces must be maintained versus a dynamic situation in which rapid action can shift conditions from a bad losing regime to a good winning one.

7.Naive economic thinking of a tradeoff between economics and fighting the virus, versus realizing a short time economic hit will enable opening normally and restoring the economy (as recognized by McKinsey, BCG, IMF and other correct economic analyses).

8.We have to “live with the virus" versus we can eliminate the virus and return to normal social and economic conditions.

9.Waiting for high-tech vaccination to be a cure all, versus using right-tech classic pandemic isolation/quarantine of individuals and communities to completely stop transmission.

10.Considering the virus as primarily a medical problem of treating individuals and individual responsibility for prevention of their own infection, versus...

defeating the virus as a collective effort based in community action, galvanized by leaders providing clear information, a public health system engaging in community-based prevention of transmission, and the treatment of patients is, by design, as limited as possible.


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Two things can be true at once:
1. There is an issue with hostility some academics have faced on some issues
2. Another academic who himself uses threats of legal action to bully colleagues into silence is not a good faith champion of the free speech cause

I have kept quiet about Matthew's recent outpourings on here but as my estwhile co-author has now seen fit to portray me as an enabler of oppression I think I have a right to reply. So I will.

I consider Matthew to be a colleague and a friend, and we had a longstanding agreement not to engage in disputes on twitter. I disagree with much in the article @UOzkirimli wrote on his research in @openDemocracy but I strongly support his right to express such critical views

I therefore find it outrageous that Matthew saw fit to bully @openDemocracy with legal threats, seeking it seems to stifle criticism of his own work. Such behaviour is simply wrong, and completely inconsistent with an academic commitment to free speech.

I am not embroiling myself in the various other cases Matt lists because, unlike him, I think attention to the detail matters and I don't have time to research each of these cases in detail.

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This is NONSENSE. The people who take photos with their books on instagram are known to be voracious readers who graciously take time to review books and recommend them to their followers. Part of their medium is to take elaborate, beautiful photos of books. Die mad, Guardian.


If you come for Bookstagram, i will fight you.

In appreciation, here are some of my favourite bookstagrams of my books: (photos by lit_nerd37, mybookacademy, bookswrotemystory, and scorpio_books)